Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Study of the Arts Prepares Kids for Success in Life!

Place des Arts offers engaging classes in music, dance and art for wee ones. Countless studies, including this one recently reported in the Washington Post, have shown the extraordinary benefits children derive from studying the arts. The arts boost literacy, advance math achievement and motivate students to learn; they equip young people to be creative, develop problem solving ability, build collaboration skills and increase capacity for leadership; they strengthen perseverance, help with anxiety management and emotional control, and they facilitate cross-cultural understanding and foster a creative community.  Phew, that’s a lot of positives!

Many believe the sooner kids start exploring their creativity and developing their artistic skills, the better. Place des Arts, an established arts centre and music school in Coquitlam, thinks so too, and offers a variety of classes and lessons in the visual and performing arts for all ages, including, babes, tots and preschoolers.

Read on for more info or drop by Place des Arts’ annual all-ages Open House on Saturday, September 12 from 2-4pm. It’s an informative, entertaining way to find out about all the classes and programs available for the season, meet some teachers, get info from programmers, participate in fun activities and win valuable PdA gift certificates. Admission is free; please register at

Babies can’t be expected to draw a portrait or recite lines in a play, but they can shake a music maker or learn sign language! For babies from 1 to 23 months and their parents, Place des Arts’ Baby Signing and Song class teaches sign language through music and movement. Teacher Nicole Walker says, “Signing stimulates intellectual development, provides a strong foundation for early literacy and boosts spoken vocabulary. Babies use signs months before they speak (for example, waving bye-bye) and signing enables them to communicate more effectively from a younger age.”

For tots, teacher Birgit Giesser offers a fun, parent-participation class, The Musical Rainbow: Musical Tots for 15 to 24 month-olds. Birgit encourages creativity, exploration, language, physical and social development through a variety of movement and musical activities.

From the Musical Tots class, children can advance to The Musical Rainbow, a program for ages 3 to 9 developed and taught by popular children’s teacher and entertainer Mr. I. The Musical Rainbow teaches kids the principles of music through singing songs, chanting rhymes, playing music games, using xylophones, recorders and other instruments. This program may inspire children to take private instrument or voice lessons at an older age.

For parents interested in giving their young children a strong musical foundation in preparation for piano or other instrument study, Music for Young Children® (MYC) is a parent-participation program for ages 3 ½ to 9 years. Place des Arts’ MYC teacher Cindy Sletmoen provides instruction in keyboard skills, singing, ear training, theory, rhythm, sight reading and composing through dynamic hands-on teaching techniques. MYC runs September – June, and a keyboard or piano must be present at home for practice.

For tots who love to move and groove, Bouncing Ballerinas (ages 3 to 4) and Ballet: Tiny Tutus (ages 4 to 5) are fun classes in which children learn the basic elements of movement, coordination, musicality and group interaction skills along with basic ballet terminology and technique. From here, children can accelerate on up through several levels of ballet study with respected, experienced teacher Miss Lucienne Anczykowski, or take a Place des Arts class in a different dance style such as Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap and others.
Children as young as 3 years old can learn to think like an artist and unleash their imaginations in Place des Arts’ Imagine That! for 3 to 4 year olds. Each week children explore new media and techniques, including mixing colours with marbles, collaging, building paper sculptures, printmaking with modeling clay and more. Teacher Joy Kirkwood will help them explore the creative processes and focus on developing strong foundational skills.

If drawing and painting skills are what you’re after, Place des Arts offers Drawing & Painting: Preschool for 3 to 5 year olds in the fall, winter and spring sessions. Teacher Olga Pirogova will have children exploring their creativity through mixed-media techniques and drawing and painting in a variety of media, including oil and soft pastels, watercolours, tempera, ink, pencils and crayons.
Place des Arts’ friendly environment is fertile soil for learning and creative growth. Its highly skilled teachers provide strong foundational skills in fun and rewarding classes, helping to prepare kids for success in life! Because of the popularity of many classes, prospective students are encouraged to register early to avoid disappointment.

For more information and to view all the 2015/16 class listings, visit

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